Reasons I love my wife, 91–100

A little less than a year ago, I listed ten reasons I love my wife, with
the goal of eventually listing 100 reasons. This post finally achieves that
goal. I don’t intend to stop the list at 100, but it feels good to make it
this far.

  • She knows how to use an apostrophe.
  • She lets me hold the TV remote even though she hates the way I use it.
  • She writes half of the His and Hers post
    every Friday.
  • She supports my maintaining this blog and acts as chief
    copyeditor.
  • The only time I don’t miss her is when I’m with her.
  • When I told her I wouldn’t say "I love you" to a woman I wasn’t
    ready to marry, she thought it was an excellent policy. (I told her I loved
    her about
    20 seconds before I asked her to be my wife.)
  • She still calls her parents by the names she called them at the age of
    three.
  • I still get a little nervous/excited when I hold her hand.
  • She hates science fiction, but loves Firefly.
  • I can’t imagine life without her.

The good-humored marriage

I had the following conversation with my wife last night.

Me: (singing) I
like to go swimmin’ with bowlegged women
and swim between their legs
swim between their legs
swim between their legs
Yes, I like to go swimmin’ with
bowlegged women
and swim between their legs
swim between their legs

Her: What was that?

Me: I heard it on a TV show once. I don’t know if there’s
any more to it.

Her: I hope not.

Me: (laughter)

Her: Well, don’t you?

Me: (harder laughter)

Her: What’s so funny?

Me: (hysterical laughter)

Her: You have the strangest sense of humor.

I’ve known people who feel a great deal of pride in having a “strange sense
of humor.” I don’t know why. I sometimes wish I could see the humor in things
that other people find funny. More often, I wish other people could see the
humor in things I find funny. My jokes tend be met with blank stares or simple
non-acknowledgment. I tend to meet the jokes of others with a straight face
or simple non-acknowledgment. I rarely laugh out loud unless I’m making a conscious
effort to be friendly and agreeable. But when I do laugh for real, I can’t
stop to save my life. On several occasions, I have laughed literally for hours,
and sometimes for days.

Since a shared sense of humor is a necessity for people who live together,
it’s fortunate that mine overlaps with my wife’s by about 80 percent. We usually
understand and appreciate each other’s jokes, but sometimes we receive outside
humor in vastly different ways. For instance: I laughed my butt off when we
saw the movie Rushmore,
whereas she didn’t even crack a smile. For another instance: She loves Ren
and Stimpy
, and I can’t understand why that show was ever on the air to begin
with. But we both love witty comedies such as The
Simpsons
, Malcolm
in the Middle
, and Raising
Arizona
, and we often laugh at things no one else finds funny.

I found this
humor evaluation test
via MCF and achieved the following result:

the Wit
(71% dark, 23% spontaneous, 36% vulgar)

your humor style:
CLEAN | COMPLEX | DARK

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you’re
probably an intellectual, but don’t take that to mean pretentious. You realize
‘dumb’ can be witty–after all isn’t that the Simpsons’ philosophy?–but rudeness
for its own sake, ‘gross-out’ humor and most other things found in a fraternity
leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than
most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most
thought to appreciate, but it’s also the best, in my opinion.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart – Woody Allen – Ricky Gervais

Mrs. Happy came out as:

the Ham
(47% dark, 42% spontaneous, 31% vulgar)

your humor style:
CLEAN | SPONTANEOUS | LIGHT

Your style’s goofy, innocent and feel-good. Perfect
for parties and for the dads who chaperone them. You can actually get
away with corny jokes, and I
bet your sense of humor is a guilty pleasure for your friends. People of
your type are often the most approachable and popular people in their circle.
Your
simple & silly good-naturedness is immediately recognizable, and it
sets you apart in this sarcastic world.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Will Ferrell – Will Smith

So our senses of humor overlap a bit, but we’re just different enough to keep
things interesting.

Marriage links for the week

Marla Swoffer celebrates her fourth
wedding anniversary
.

I recently posted Shelley’s love story here
on this blog
. Her husband Jeff tells
his
side of the story
on his own blog.

Steve Lynch continues his review of the book Covenant Marriage with
a discussion of Chapter
6: Unhealthy Patterns of Communication
.

Joe Missionary ponders the
meaning of intimacy
.

Bowden McElroy addresses the issue of personal change in a marriage in a
post titled Too
Little, Too Late
(and don’t miss part
two
).

Since I was gone for several days to see family and attend a funeral this
past week, Irene took the liberty of collecting quite a few links for me, mostly
from this past week’s Christian
Carnival
:

Mommy
Wives
Fidler on the Roof

More
Of "Mommy Wives" And Spineless Hubbies
Fidler on the Roof

Let’s
Talk About Sex
Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek

The Purposes of Marriage (Nothern ‘burbs blog):
Part I – Children
Part II – Sex
Part III – Completion

His and Hers: Cool pregnancy stuff

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in
celebrating marriage.

What’s your favorite thing about pregnancy so far?

Mrs. Happy’s response

At first, I enjoyed all the attention I got, but now my favorite thing is
feeling the baby kick.

Curt’s response

My favorite part is definitely feeling the baby move. I can already tell he’s
going to be an amazing athlete.

A taboo everyone talks about

I have a couple of thoughtful posts percolating, but tonight I have no time
to write anything
substantial without stealing time from my wife. I would, however, like to direct
everyone to ireneq’s blog and her post about porn
and masturbation
.
It’s refreshing to see a conservative Christian discuss the issues so frankly
and openly and from a Biblical perspective, and at the same time
heartbreaking to see a sister in so much turmoil. Her struggle reminds me of
what seems to be one of the most convoluted passages in the Bible:

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do
the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the
law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that
dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in
my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability
to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not
want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no
longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law
that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight
in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members
another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to
the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will
deliver
me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve
the law of sin.

Romans 7:15–25

I just want to say for the record that I agree with Irene: pornography
and masturbation, even for an unmarried person, are destructive forces with
nothing to redeem them. Many marriages have been destroyed because of them.
And here’s
something I wish I had known during my single days: sexual habits a
person forms before marriage do not magically disappear upon
the exchange
of
wedding
vows
. Thought
patterns
continue unabated. Destructive physical patterns continue to be a problem.
The way you look at and evaluate members of the opposite sex doesn’t change.
And even if you can stop looking at pornography, the images you have seen cannot
be
purged
from
your
mind.

I’m not saying bad habits are incurable; I’m just saying that
marriage doesn’t cure them. And the longer a habit persists, the harder it
is to break. Anything that draws your attention and energy away from your spouse
(whether current or future) hurts your marriage. It’s better to go into a marriage
with healthy habits than to have to correct ingrained behavior while trying
to build a family.

Five great places

As my entry into MCF’s
fifth blog party
, I’m listing five places that have
been significant to my marriage, which makes them my five favorite places in
the world.

The University of Texas at Austin

Mrs. Happy and I didn’t exactly meet at school, but we spent a lot of time
together on campus. One day during my first week at UT, I saw her in the parking
lot—amazing,
given the 50,000-student enrollment—and asked her to lunch. Against her
better judgment, she accepted. Lunch became a regular meeting time for us whenever
our schedules
permitted, and we almost always ate at the same bench outside Benedict
Hall
.
We also spent a great deal of time in the Union
Underground
, especially in
the bowling alley. Before that time, I had refused to bowl at all for fear
of exposing my working-class roots, but desire to spend time with my Happy
Friend heavily outweighed my social-class sensitivity. (I have grown much more
mature since that time, and I now embrace my heritage and bowl whenever I get
a chance.) One evening in November 1997, we bowled two games at the Union,
then I led her
to our bench
and asked
her to be my wife. I love that place.

Twin Oaks Ranch

Located in the pastoral beauty of Buda, Texas (pronounced BYOO-duh, TECK-sez),
this Christian retreat center many times played host to a college
ministry that Mrs. Happy and I were a part of during our college days. The
disconnect from the outside world freed the mind and unburdened the heart,
giving way to real spiritual and emotional revelation. I have several powerful
memories associated with Twin Oaks, but by far the most meaningful occurred
in 1998: the aforementioned ministry booked the center for the weekend and
allowed us to conduct our wedding there.

Paradox, New York

When we married, we did not go to any of the usual tourist destinations for
our honeymoon. Instead, we picked a remote cabin at a lake no one’s ever heard
of in a state on the opposite side of the country from anyone we knew. We didn’t
really want to be in an activity-rich resort. Even before the honeymoon started,
we planned to be far too busy to mess with shuffleboard and Scrabble tournaments.

Colorado Bend State Park

One Thanksgiving in the early years of our marriage, we decided to spend the
holiday in a tent in the woods by ourselves rather than making the traditional
rounds of our extended families. The temperature dropped below freezing the
night we were there. We were too cold to sleep, and it took us two hours to
light our campfire. We set out on a hike the next day and were nearly trampled
by a surprised deer. The trail we thought would be a mile (1.6 km) long turned
out to be nearly eight (12.8 km), so we thought ourselves lost without hope
of rescue. And during our hike, the temperature rose from 40º (4º C) to 85º
(29º C), forcing us to shed and carry some of our layered clothing. But we
also basked in God’s creation, sketched what beauty we could capture in the
Texas Hill Country, and threw a few rocks at some armadillos,
who didn’t even notice. It was quite a memorable experience.

New York

My wife and I experienced no hardship in Texas compared to moving to and residing
in the most impatient state in the country. Even so, living in New York
has been amazing in many ways, giving us a wealth of new friends, experiences,
and revelations that have tested us and brought us closer together. Neither
of us would trade our New York years for anything in the world.

Thank you

I’d like to thank everyone for the prayers and kind words over the past few days. Funerals are always sad but necessary, and this one offered blessings to temper the grief. Thank you again.

Blogging is trumped

We found out last night that one of Mrs.
Happy’s grandfathers died yesterday. It wasn’t sudden
or unexpected, but there is still quite a bit of grief involved. Today was
sort of hectic, and the
next
few
days are going to be busy for us, so posting will be sparse to nonexistent
until next week. I would appreciate any prayers that can be offered
up for
the family, especially those members who may not have hope for eternity in
God’s love.

Shelley’s love story

After I asked for love story and Where I’m From poetry submissions last
week
,
I
received
poems from Shelley
(of A Proverbs 31 Woman)
and Paula
(of Listen In),
and Shelley also sent in her love story. I tried to post it last night, but
my
computer kept freezing. Here it is, though, and it is indeed lovely. Enjoy.


The night Jeff and I met it was raining. No, that is an understatement. It
was a complete downpour.

A lady I worked with had coordinated a happy hour
at a club for all of the women at work and also invited her husband and Jeff.
The plan was to set Jeff
up with a woman named Della. The rest of us were supposed to be there so no
one would feel like it was a set up.

I didn’t want to go, and was not planning
on going until my friend and co-worker, Victoria, wore me down by calling every
hour or so during the day and asking
me if I was going. She had taken the day off work, but was planning on meeting
the office staff at the club. I wilted under the pressure and took off for
the club at 5:00.

Only 6 of the 20 some odd people who were supposed to be
there showed up. And Victoria was one of the ones who didn’t show! Needless
to say I was a little
miffed, but it was RAINING out, so I decided to stay for a little while to
see if it would let up any.

Well, Della and another woman exited soon after
their arrival and that left just my co-worker, her husband, Jeff and me. We
started talking about Seinfeld;
I admitted I watched too much television; and then the DJ played an Elvis song
(I love Elvis). I figured it was a sign to dance so I asked Jeff if he’d dance
with me and he said yes. Actually he didn’t have a choice because I was pulling
him on the dance floor.

I remember thinking that he looked like a gentle soul
and that I enjoyed talking to him.

When I went home that night I had a message
from a friend to call. "Where
have you been?" she asked.

"Meeting my future husband," I replied.

I was right.